Published On: Fri, Oct 14th, 2016

Angry stepfather gets community service

GREAT BAY – When his 12-year-old stepdaughter sucked her teeth on April 4 at the request to do the washing up, her 51-year-old stepfather Sylvio Martina lost it and he slapped the child in her face; shortly afterwards he hit her on her legs with a belt. That cost him 80 hours of community service, of which the court suspended 20 hours yesterday.

“This time it is just community service, but you must understand that you absolutely cannot do this. Prison guard or not, next time I’ll send you to Pointe Blanche,” Judge Dirk Gruijters told the defendant.

Martina will also have to follow anger management training. Asked about this part of the sentence, he remained indifferent and said he would do it, though he did not think he needs it. “I don’t get angry very easy,” he said.

Prosecutor Martin van Nes and Judge Gruijters had a different opinion about that.

“I am sorry about this,” said Martina. “But at the moment this happened I was angry. I have never done anything like this before.”

Martina, who works as a prison guard at the Pointe Blanche prison, said that he wanted to teach his stepdaughter respect.

“I know how you get respect,” Judge Gruijters told him. “By giving the right example.”

A report from the probation office describes Martina as a family man, though it advices the court to consider anger management training.

Prosecutor Van Nes said that the defendant had come up with the wrong reaction to an insulting gesture. “In your house your stepdaughter ought to be able to count on your protection,” he said.

Judge Gruijters admonished the defendant extensively before ruling. “This is absolutely not permitted,” he said. “Next time you get angry, you leave the room. You have to earn respect.”